Finland is about to fulfill many people’s New Year dream. Starting from January 1st, the Scandinavian country launches the unconditional basic income experimentally.
This is going to be a two-year pilot programme.
Within the programme, 2000 unemployed Finnish citizens will no longer receive unemployment compensation, or dole money; instead, they will be paid unconditional state payments of about 560 euro per month until 2019.
The first beneficiaries were selected at random. They are entitled to the basic income, regardless of whether they land a job during the specified period or not.
The average salary in the private sector in Finland is 3500 euro per month.
The experiment will show the effect of the unconditional income on people’s behaviour – whether they will feel motivated to search for a job or will remain idle.
Marjukka Turunen from Kela, the State of Finland’s Social Insurance Institution, which will carry out the experimental scheme, said in front of Business Insider that she hopes this policy will stimulate enthusiasts to start their own business.
The basic income can provide the security which is otherwise lacking in such risky enterprises.
Finland is the first country in the world which will be paying basic income. In the 2016 referendum, the Swiss rejected this proposal.
Similar ideas have been voiced in the Netherlands, India and Canada.